A few days ago as we remembered the murder of the Father of our nation, my mind went back to a drive through Kentucky when suddenly my eye was caught by miles and miles of stonewalls alongside the road, "Built by slaves!" said my brother and I stared at the walls.

"Stop the car!" I whispered and as I looked at those flat stones placed roughly one on top of the other, I heard faintly, through the ages; sounds of singing: Agonized, harrowing, painful, it pierced my soul tearing me apart with the sadness the words and tunes carried!

I could picture the poor blacks carrying stone after stone, placing them one above the other, stumbling, falling, getting up again as the whip of the white overseer cracked on their backs. And through it all they sang; songs of hope, of an escape through death!

Yesterday I heard those songs again and same tears that filled my eyes in Kentucky spilled down my cheeks. The voice singing those sad songs sang powerfully well and there wasn't a soul in the hall who didn't feel the agony the negro spirituals evoked. "Sometimes," she sang, "I feel like a motherless child!"

I thought of the poor child carrying those heavy stones more than a hundred years ago, looking up and crying, wondering what she had done to have become a beast of burden, when she could see white children playing carefree, she had to labor in the sun, drenched with sweat and shielded only by the way she placed the stone on her aching shoulder. 

And when she lurched under the weight, the overseer's whip set her straight!

As the car started again that day in Kentucky I thanked God slavery was now dead at least in America, but tyranny reigns! Tyranny: Where cruel, brutal,elected dictators use army and police and force countrymen and subjects into acts that make them less than animals. Where a man is judged for his citizenship not by his Indianess but his religion!

Tyranny: Where like the little child thrashed by the overseer, an Indian government have police watching likemute spectators as a gun is brandished, bullets fly and wounds students, protesting for their rights!

In different parts of our country such tyranny is building up, and whips of a different kind are cracked as walls of other material more severe and harsh than stone, are built.

Such needs to be broken down. The world had men like Gandhiji who stood and fought! But today the world is being made to despise such brave men. Our country needs you to stand and make the people remember, why we are not slaves anymore or subjects to foreign rule and we need never be afraid of who we are in India!

That the overseer’s whip will never crack on us or our children!

Let us remember Gandhiji today..!      

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A few years ago, I had the privilege of being the MC for the annual Navy Week in Mumbai, and later at teatime on the lawns of Navy House, I was introduced to the Vice Admiral. “Thank you for the wonderful emceeing you did, and also for the piece you wrote on the navy,” he said and even as I smiled my head turned hearing the strains of ‘Abide With Me,’ as the sun set that evening.

               Abide with me; fast falls the eventide,

                The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide;

                When other helpers, fail, and comforts flee,

                Help of the helpless, Lord abide with me.

And then the trumpeters on top of the Gateway joined in and I sang softly with them.

This hymn has been played by buglers, trumpeters, drummers sometimes by a lone flautist for soldiers at the end of a long day at battle, to tell them to retreat from fighting and rest for the night. And what better thought, then asking the Lord to stay by their side through the darkness of the night. What a beautiful way, to be restored, repaired and rejuvenated with the Lord abiding with you through the night.

And yet, suddenly, the hymn, which was also the favourite hymn of the Father of our Nation, was removed for this Republic Day at the Beating the Retreat!

A hymn that had strengthened the hearts of millions through the ages, was suddenly thought of as unnecessary: But soon quiet protests were voiced, not just by Christians, but those of other faiths too,and it was brought back and hopefully will be played at the Beating the Retreat this year!

My question is, why tamper with what is smooth and going well?

Aren’t there enough problems in our country, without having to time and again focus on issues that could best be left alone?Or are these frequent tamashas, a way to stop people focusing on the real issues of non-availability of enough roti, kapada,makaan and jobs, which are not being dealt with?

My prayer this Republic Day, is that the Lord, who’s ‘abiding’, was needed by this government will open the eyes of the nation, and then we together in unison, our voices rising in rising magnificent crescendo will sing out the last verse:

                I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless;

                Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;

                Where is deaths sting? Where grave thy victory?

                I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Yes, it is time for we people of this nation, abiding with the Constitution of India, and with the Lord abiding in us,triumph, as we make India strong again..! 

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- Niteen Lall

Juice jacking (Mobile attack)

Juice Jacking – a type of cyber attack which originates from USB charging port installed at public places such as airports, cafes, bus stands, etc. Once the device is plugged-in and connection is established, it either installs malware or secretively copies sensitive data from a smartphone, tablet, or any other computer device. USB port is often used as a medium for data transfer. A regular USB connector has five pins, where only one is needed to charge the device. Two of the other pins are used for data transfers.

Mobile Spoofing Attack (Fake wifi)

Network spoofing is when hackers set up fake access points (connections that look like Wi-Fi networks but are actually traps) in high-traffic public locations such as coffee shops, libraries and airports

SIM hijacking

By getting a mobile phone carrier to transfer a user's phone number to a fraudster's SIM card. Critical information such as OTP used in Multifactor Authentication can be used to initiate fake transactions and Account transfers.


In many cases, it’s not malware that users should be worried about, but rather spyware installed by spouses, coworkers or employers to keep track of their whereabouts and use patterns. They have capability to collect your private data,location etc.

Exploiting links in Apps

Fraudsters take advantage of the ‘request money’ option on UPI apps such as Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), Google Pay, PhonePe, etc. Imposters show interest in buying a product advertised on various online platforms and engage with the seller on a phone call.

Terminal Tampering (Skimming)

This is a type of fraud where a skimming device, usually a tandem of a card reader (skimmer) and keypad overlay or pinhole camera, is introduced to the machine by placing it over the card slot and keypad, respectively. ATMs, point of sale etc are the common vulnerable hot spots.s

Brute force Password attack

An attack that takes advantage of the fact people tend to use common words and short passwords. The hacker uses a list of common words, the dictionary, and tries them, often with numbers before and/or after the words.Using a program to generate likely passwords or even random character sets. These attacks start with commonly used, weak passwords like Password123 and move on from there. The programs running these attacks usually try variations on upper and lowercase characters, as well.

Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack

Man-in-the-middle is a type of eavesdropping attack that occurs when a malicious actor inserts himself as a relay/proxy into a communication session between people or systems.

 - Session Hijacking - In this type of MitM attack, an attacker hijacks a session between a trusted client and network server.

 - IP spoofing is used by an attacker to convince a system that it is communicating with a known, trusted entity and provide the attacker with access to the system

Phishing attacks

Phishing is a cyber attack that uses disguised email as a weapon. The goal is to trick the email recipient into believing that the message is something they want or need — a request from their bank, for instance, or a note from someone in their company — and to click a link or download an attachment. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers

Drive by Download

Drive-by download attacks are a common method of spreading malware. Hackers look for insecure websites and plant a malicious script into HTTP or PHP code on one of the pages. This script might install malware directly onto the computer of someone who visits the site, or it might re-direct the victim to a site controlled by the hackers.

Key logger attack

A cyber criminal manages to install software that tracks the user’s keystrokes, enabling the criminal to gather not only the username and password for an account but exactly which website or app the user was logging into with the credentials. This type of attack generally relies on the user first falling prey to another attack that installs the malicious key logger software on their machine.

Internet of Things (IoT) Attacks

Privilege escalation: Attackers are exploiting IoT device bugs, design flaws and operating-system or software-application-configuration oversights to gain elevated access to resources that are normally protected from an application or user.

Eavesdropping: If a weakened connection between an IoT device and server is found, an attacker might be able to intercept network traffic and steal the possibly sensitive information that IoT devices transmit over enterprise networks.

Brute-force password attacks: Due to the weakness of most IoT device passwords, brute-force attacks can be effectively used to gain access to the device.

Malicious node injection: Using this method, attackers physically deploy malicious nodes in between legitimate nodes in an IoT network. The malicious nodes can then be used to control operations and snoop on the data flowing between linked nodes.

Firmware hijacking: If firmware updates downloaded by an IoT device are not checked to make sure they originate from a legitimate source, it’s possible for an attacker to hijack the device and download malicious software.

Physical tampering: Physical threats exist if devices are deployed in environments where it is difficult for the enterprise to control the device and the people who can access it

Denial of Service (DOS)

A Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack is an attack meant to shut down a machine or network, making it inaccessible to its intended users by flooding it with traffic. A DDoS attack is also an attack on system’s resources, but it is launched from a large number of other host machines that are infected by malicious software controlled by the attacker.

SQL Injections

SQL injection, also known as SQLI, is a common attack vector that uses malicious SQL code for backend database manipulation to access information that was not intended to be displayed. This information may include any number of items, including sensitive company data, user lists or private customer details.

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attack

XSS attacks use third-party web resources to run scripts in the victim’s web browser or scriptable application. Specifically, the attacker injects a payload with malicious JavaScript into a website’s database. When the victim requests a page from the website, the website transmits the page, with the attacker’s payload as part of the HTML body, to the victim’s browser, which executes the malicious script.Steal cookies,log key strokes, capture screenshots, discover and collect network information, and remotely access and control the victim’s machine are common security threats due to XSS attack.

Trojans attack

A Trojan or a Trojan horse is a program that hides in a useful program and usually has a malicious function. A major difference between viruses and Trojans is that Trojans do not self-replicate. In addition to launching attacks on a system, a Trojan can establish a back door that can be exploited by attackers. For example, a Trojan can be programmed to open a high-numbered port so the hacker can use it to listen and then perform an attack.

Ransomware attack

Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to the victim’s data and threatens to publish or delete it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple computer ransomware can lock the system in a way that is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion, which encrypts the victim’s files in a way that makes them nearly impossible to recover without the decryption key.

Advanced persistent threat (APT)

An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a broad term used to describe an attack campaign in which an intruder, or team of intruders, establishes an illicit, long-term presence on a network in order to mine highly sensitive data.


Botnets are powerful networks of compromised machines that can be remotely controlled and used to launch attacks of massive scale, sometimes including millions of Zombie computers. Botnets are controlled by Command and Control (C&C) networks, which are run by the hackers. 

* Niteen Lall hails from Andaman & Nicobar Islands and is presently based in Bangalore. He had held the Second position in AISSCE in the year 1995.  He is presently working as Senior Manager Engineering (Head of Engineering for RSA IG&L) at RSA Security National Institute of Technology in Bangalore.


Scholarship Name 1: Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship Programme 2020


Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation, Mumbai has announced this scholarship for Indian students who wish to pursue a postgraduate programme at top-ranking institutions. The scholarship is aimed at offering interest-free PG loan to the students with a high academic record.


Indian students who are less than 30 years of age, who have completed graduation from recognized Indian university/institute and have been accepted into the top ranking educational institutions to pursue postgraduate studies from Fall 2020, can apply for this scholarship.

Prizes & Rewards:           

Interest-free PG loans to pursue postgraduate studies at top Indian institutions and abroad.

Last Date to Apply:            12-03-2020

Application mode:              Apply online

Short Url:              http://www.b4s.in/ac/NSS2


Scholarship Name 2:  Teach for India Fellowship 2020


Teach for India, a non-profit organisation has announced this scholarship for the young students of universities and workplaces to serve as a full-time teacher to the wards of the family having lower income. The main objective behind this fellowship is to make young generation feel the grassroots realities of India's education so that they share their knowledge, skills, and mindsets to the underprivileged children, thus building educational equity in the country.


Students holding a graduation degree who are studying in a college or are working youth, experienced professionals and entrepreneurs can apply for this scholarship.

Prizes & Rewards:           

Selected candidates will get INR 20,412 per month and additional benefits.

Last Date to Apply:            01-03-2020

Application mode:              Apply online

Short Url:              http://www.b4s.in/ac/TFI7


Scholarship Name 3: Inlaks Scholarships 2020


Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation has announced this scholarship for young students to study a full-time Masters, M.Phil or a Doctorate program at top-rated European, American, and UK institutions. Selected students will get full tuition fees, adequate living expenses and one-way travel allowance and a health allowance.


Indian citizens studying in India for the past 6 months who holds a first-class degree or equivalent from a recognized university/institution in India and is not more than 30 years of age can apply for this scholarship.

Prizes & Rewards:           

The selected students will get USD 1,00,000 that covers full tuition fees, adequate living expenses and one-way travel allowance and health allowance for the selected candidates.

Last Date to Apply:            31-03-2020

Application mode:              Apply online

Short Url:              http://www.b4s.in/ac/INL1


Courtesy - buddy4study.com

I looked at the banners I was making:

We want Freedom of speech!

We want Freedom to Speak!

We want Freedom of Expression!

All banners for the next march, morcha or protest against the government. Then I heard a sound and from across my room heard muffled sobs and saw a man in a lecture’s garb coming across to me, “What’s wrong?” I asked.

He pointed to the inside of his mouth and I realized there was no tongue.

“Government did that?” I asked and watched him nodding in affirmation.

“Terrible!” I said, “We must organize a morcha.Get a banner ready, have a candle light vigil, against those two in the centre!”

He shook his head.“You don’t want protests? You don’t want me to hold a banner and get your tongue back?” I asked.

He nodded affirmatively and I got ready to show him a poster, denouncing the government, “This government seems to be slicing everybody’s tongue off!” I said irritably and watched as he shook his head in disagreement. “No, you need to shake your head up and down!” I said gently, “It will take you time to learn sign language now that you have no tongue!”

I got down to selecting the poster for him, when I heard another sound from afar, and found the tongueless man running to the window and beckoning someone up. It was a woman, and as I heard her sounds, I realized she had a tongue, but was still in pain after it had been stitched back.

“So you also lost your tongue for awhile?” I asked her and she nodded.

“You also can have a banner against the ruling party at the centre!” I said and found both the man and woman shaking their heads negatively.

“You don’t want a banner?” I asked and found both of them nodding that they wanted one.

I got up from my banner making and went to the speech-less two, “You want a banner, but you don’t want a banner? Maybe you two should take lessons on how to express yourselves!” I watched startled as the woman and the man grabbed the paint brush from my hand, and wrote something on the banner on the ground, “Down, Down Congress!” I read, “But why?” I asked and found them both telling me in sign language it was the Congress who had cut off both their tongues.

“Yours was cut off in Rajasthan?” I asked the girl, “And yours in Mumbai for saying something against Rahul and the Gandhi family?” I asked the man who I realized was a lecturer.

I heard a wail from West Bengal, and before hearing that Mamata had also done the same, I threw my banners away, realizingthat every party that came to power, having no idea what freedom of expression meant,ruled with a pair of scissors..!

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